Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sewing: Quilt Culottes (Tutorial)

I don't know what it is, but I just love a challenge! When Susan of Living with Punks invited me to participate in her Scrap Your Stash series earlier this summer my mind went blank. I certainly had a large enough pile of scraps to do something with but I don't often sew that way. I have quilted a bit in the past, but hadn't for quite some time.

So, no idea in the wings, not really my bailiwick, busy summer, sounded just perfect! I appreciated Susan's encouragement to get out of my comfort zone.

I did however stick with something I love: children's apparel. I rarely work on something one of my little girls can't wear. So I came up with Quilt Culottes.

Easy to wear. Not to bad to make. And fun to remember all the clothing that produced these scraps.

If you'd like to see how I made these culottes click to read more.

Thanks again, Susan, for a fun summer series!


Before cutting any fabric I first sorted through my scrap pile and grabbed fabrics I thought would work well together. I originally had a "crazy quilt" idea but decided I didn't want to piece that much and really wasn't feeling that crazy. (I think even the craziest of quilts are more deliberate than one would think.)

To make the culottes you will need to create two pieced pieces of fabric that should each be between 1 and 1.5 times the width of your child's waist (this will give you the appropriate fullness--similar to a simple gathered skirt) and the desired length plus 2" (for elastic casing at waist and .5" hem). So for instance, my daughter has a 20" waist and I pieced together fabric to create two pieces that were each about 26" wide. I planned to make it long enough for the culottes to hit her mid-calf, but knee length would be really cute too.

You could just start sewing together pieces of fabric until your piece is large enough for cutting, but I decided to create two rows of uniform strips, about 3.5" wide. The top strips are about twice the length of the bottom strips. You can vary the width and use more or less strips than I have depending on the fullness you would like. I also decided to keep the seam line between these two rows even, but you could certain vary the placement of the seam (by varying the length of the strips) too.

Sew the the short strips to the long strips end-to-end (right sides together with a 3/8" seam), pressing the seams open and finishing the seams as you would like.

Then sew the strips together along their length to form a piece of fabric. Do this by placing two strips at a time right sides together and aligning the seams). Iron all seams open.

I chose to create two identical pieces but you could certainly mix them up a bit.

Lay the two pieces right sides together.

Using a pants pattern you like (I used this one), or a pair of pants in your child's size as a guide, cut the rise (the crotch) for the front and the back of the culottes.

Some patterns don't vary the rise for the front and the back, but if yours does, laying the pieces right sides together to cut will ensure you have two mirror pieces. You should cut one on the right side and one on the left side of your fabric (the middle of the fabric will be the side of the culottes.) Be sure you have enough room at the top to create an elastic casing--you'll need about 1 1/2".

Fold each piece right sides together and stitch the inseam using a 3/8" seam allowance. Press this seam open and finish as you'd like (zigzag or serge). You should now have two very wide legs for your culottes.

Place one leg inside the other with right sides together. Pin the crotch seam from the front to the back and stitch using a 3/8" seam allowance. Press and finish the seam.

Hem the legs. I zigzaged the bottom raw edge, turned under 1/4" once and stitched and turned under again and stitched.

Create the casing at the waist for the elastic: zigzag stitch the upper raw edge of the waist. Turn 1/4" and stitch down.  Turn under again 1.5". Pin in place. Stitch near the folded edge but leave a 2-3" opening at the back seam for inserting the elastic.

Thread the elastic through the casing using a safety pin. Stitch the raw ends of the elastic together by overlapping them. Stitch down the open section of the casing.

There you have it! Quilt Culottes. Something a little bit new to do with your scraps.


Simple Simon and Company said...

I love culottes. I wore them everyday as a girl. Those are DARLING!!!

Kristy said...

Oh I love these! They turned out so sweet! :) I'd say a perfect scrap project for sure. Thanks for sharing!

Dagmar said...

These are so feminine....perfect outfit for a summer day and the scraps co-ordinate beautifully have such artistic talent.

Pam said...

LOVE IT! These are perfect.

Valentina@baby quilts said...

They are absolutely adorable and I know from a personal experience that culottes are the most comfortable summer wear (not only for little girls).

Jenni Swenson said...

Wow... I just looked through some of your blog and you are amazing. You should be so proud of the obvious love and care you put into raising your family. I have 3 daughters too (mine are 17, 14, and 13) and it reminded me of when I used to sew for them. xoxo Jenni

Jenni Swenson said...

Wow... I just looked through some of your blog and you are amazing. You should be so proud of the obvious love and care you put into raising your family. I have 3 daughters too (mine are 17, 14, and 13) and it reminded me of when I used to sew for them. xoxo Jenni

Anonymous said...

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Maria said...

Oi querida, adorei seu cantinho, é tudo tão lindo e colorido, suas garotas são lindas e ótimas modelos, parecem ficar bem felizes com as roupas que você faz para elas. Parabéns pela linda família e pelos belos projetos.
Beijos. Maria

Tina said...

I want you to know we have fallen in LOVE with the Golden Books Baby Shower, as I am about to have my first grandchild. Just so you know we are coping that theme,down to the letter(except the painting) however we have over 100 guest coming (large families on all sides). Anywho, my questions to you is where did you find all of the vintage toys? I been checking ebay, but nothing good has come up and I'm about 4 weeks out now. Can you advise?

Anneliese said...

Hi Tina, I'm so glad you like the shower! Many of the "vintage" toys are realy just vintage looking. Try searching for Melissa and Doug, PlanToys, Haba and other brands of wood children's toys. Look for push toys, blocks, etc. Good luck with the shower. Sounds like quite an undertaking!

Xi said...

Thank you very much for the tutorial
I would like to make one of these pants for my little girl

Warm regards from Chile.

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